These days when going to New York, I decide on my priority. Is it to catch up on the museums and gallery exhibitions that have opened ? Or am I going mainly to take advantage of the January sales - or, as is more often the case, am I just going to plug myself into electric city, see friends and schmooze?
Of course, going for one motive doesn't stop me from doing the other, but in the city that invented the breakfast meeting, to squeeze more hours out of the day I want to make sure I don't dither about.
Breakfast in the hotel is time consuming and a horrendous waste of money, especially when there will be a splendid diner less than a block away; some make the most indecently delicious cheese blintzes smothered with just about anything you can imagine. Even if I just settle for a bagel and coffee from a street car I feel better off (and remember, asking for regular coffee means white with sugar).
Eating in New York is far too important a duty to be left to chance. So I make certain I reserve a table if I want to go to one of the signature restaurants. The Gotham Bar and Grill (00 1 212 620 4020; www.gothambarandgrill.com) at 12 East 12th Street in the Village is a favourite for dinner. And you can usually get a table if you eat late.
Perry Street, West 11th or Greenwich Avenue are best for people watching. Heading over to the West Side Highway, where the new park has been built, and watching real New Yorkers at play is so much more satisfying than battling the other tourists in Times Square.
On my last visit to the city, I made the visit to the World Trade Center site. It wasn't my first after 9/11 but I was still deeply moved by the combination of memorial and construction, as preparations commence to erect the Freedom Tower, which will be the world's tallest building.
A trip to New York City is like visiting an old friend: it's wonderful to stay a few days and return home invigorated by the late nights we've spent together.
Richard Quest is a CNN news and business anchor. He hosts the monthly programme 'CNN Business Traveller' which next airs on 25 October at 12.30pmReuse content